This dog helps save koalas in Australia

Story by CBC Kids News • 2021-11-19 05:59

Bear, an Australian koolie, used his strong sense of smell


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Most dogs are great at following simple commands, like “sit” and “roll over.”

But some can be trained to do amazing things.

That’s the case for a dog named Bear from Brisbane, Australia, who was recently honoured after he helped to save about 100 koalas from Australia's bushfires in 2019 and 2020.

Last month, he received an Animal Action Award for his efforts.

The award came from the International Fund for Animal Welfare, which is an organization that helps animals around the world.

A dog wearing a blue pack on its back walks through a burnt forest

Bear can smell koala fur and helps rescuers track them down by sitting in front of a tree that has a koala in it. (Image credit: International Fund for Animal Welfare)

How did he do it?

Bear is able to recognize the scent of koala fur.

Bear’s special skill came in handy during the Australian wildfires, when thousands of acres of land burned and many koalas needed to be saved.

He helped rescue about 100 koalas.

He did it by sniffing them out and dropping to the ground at the base of the trees that koalas were in.

Bear is a six-year-old Australian koolie.

He’s described as “having boundless energy and obsessive enthusiasm for play,” as well as an excellent sense of smell.

Bear is a rescue dog that’s been trained to find koalas and other wildlife. (Image credit: International Fund for Animal Welfare)

These qualities helped him in his work saving koalas, according to a news release from the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

What does the award mean for Bear?

“We think Bear really deserved this award because he’s been such a good boy in helping us find and rescue a lot of koalas, especially during the bushfires,” said his handler, Romane Cristescu.

“He works throughout the year to help us in our job to make a better and safer place for koalas. We’ll give Bear extra pats and extra play for his award.”

What happened to the koalas?

Many of the koalas were injured, malnourished and dehydrated due to the fires.

Thanks to Bear’s efforts, they were taken to a safe place and rehabilitated, before being released back into the wild.

Want to know more about koalas born after the bushfires in Australia? Watch this video from 2020:

Have more questions? We'll look into it for you. Email us at cbckidsnews@cbc.ca.


TOP IMAGE CREDIT:  International Fund for Animal Welfare

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